Climate Policy Initiative experts hosted and presented at several events at COP25 in December 2019 that covered the global landscape of climate finance, emerging instruments to drive sustainable finance, climate alignment in the financial sector, approaches to closing the investment gap for urban subnational climate projects and infrastructure, and other topics.


Raising ambition for climate action: Transformative actions for a food secure future

Wednesday December 4; 15:00 – 16:30
Room 5, IFEMA Madrid 

CPI’s Associate Director, Dr. Angela Falconer spoke at this event which presented and discussed the 11 best bet science-based solutions to transform food systems under climate change, and launched a new global initiative to scale these solutions to around 200 million small-scale farmers.


How to measure Climate Resilience: Starting with a common framework and principles
MDBs-IDFC Climate Resilience Metrics Side-Event

Thursday, December 5, 16:00-17:00
MDB Pavilion

CPI’s Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Buchner, moderated a panel discussion which consisted of MDB and IDFC members who shared some experiences and lessons learned about developing climate resilience metrics and how this work is complemented by additional efforts on implementing climate resilience opportunities in each institution.

Speakers included:

  • Arghya Sinha Roy-ADB
  • Josef Haider- IDFC- KfW
  • Claire Healy- E3G
  • Olatunji Yusuf – IsDB
  • Timo Leiter- London School of Economics
  • Monica Scatasta -EIB


Workshop – Climate finance mapping and planning: challenges and opportunities

Co-organized by Climate Policy Initiative, the European Forest Institute, and UNDP.

Friday, December 6; 8:30 – 12:45
Hotel Pullman Madrid Airport & Feria Metro

Monitoring past, present, and future public and private spending and investment patterns is essential to achieving climate mitigation and adaptation objectives. Such information helps measure progress, identify gaps, align flows and instruments for maximum impact and scale, and optimize the deployment of public resources in a way that can effectively and efficiently unlock private investment at the transformational scales needed.

In this workshop, participants:

  • Shared knowledge and best practices on mapping and tracking flows of domestic climate finance
  • Identified ways to ensure domestic finance mapping can support planning of effective spending and investment to achieve climate goals
  • Networked with a growing community of domestic climate finance practitioners from national governments, donors, UN agencies, and implementing organization

Speakers included:

  • Dr. Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Dr. Angela Falconer, Associate Director, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Adeline Dontenville, EU REDD Facility, European Forest Institute
  • Chavi Meattle, Analyst, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Valérie Merckx, Head, EU REDD Facility, European Forest Institute
  • Tim Clairs, Head, Forest and Climate team, UNDP (tbc)
  • Jean-Claude Koya, Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Planning and Investment (tbc)
  • Félicien Mulenda, FONAREDD DRC
  • Ian Cochran, 14CE, French Landscape of Climate Finance
  • Aleksandra Novikova, IKEM, Landscapes of Climate Finance in Czech Republic, Latvia and
  • Gianluca Merlo, UNDP NDC Support program


Scaling up blended finance solutions

Co-organized by Climate Policy Initiative, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, and IDFC member organizations.

Saturday, December 7; 11:00 – 13:00
IDFC Pavilion, Hall 8

With an urgent need to scale both public and private capital for climate solutions, blended finance is often seen as a panacea. The opportunity is certainly there. CPI’s work estimates that eight high-potential countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and East Asia alone offer more than USD 360bn in blended finance investment potential in clean energy by 2030. There are also excellent examples of blended finance solutions making impact on the ground already. The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, which is made-up of development finance institutions (including IDFC member organizations) as well as governments and private investors, has launched 41 blended finance solutions and sustainable business models that have mobilized nearly USD 2 billion for climate mitigation and adaptation.

However, given that blended finance is still often seen as being on the innovative edge of financing, the questions now are around scale and speed. Can public capital leverage the economic transformation needed?

This COP side event, co-organized by Climate Policy Initiative, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, and IDFC member organizations, brought together leaders in blended finance from the public and private sector to share lessons learned. Participants walked away from the session with an enhanced understanding of blended finance tools and challenges, and the opportunity to network with leading initiatives to build partnerships.

This event included a Lab instrument showcase, in which Lab proponents gave an overview of innovative financial instruments they are rolling out to drive critical investment to action on climate change using blended finance solutions, followed by a high-level panel discussion that will react to the instrument presentations, and expand on the utility of blended finance solutions.

Speakers included:

Moderator: Dr. Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative & Director, the Lab

Lab instrument showcase:

  • Dimitris Karamitsos, Senior Business Developer, Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), Cooling as a Service (CaaS)
  • Emily Pidgeon, Senior Director for Strategic Marine Initiatives, Conservation International, Restoration Insurance Service Company (RISCO)
  • Kevin Wervenbos, Three Wheels United (TWU), Financing for Low-Carbon Auto-Rickshaws


  • Kate Hughes, Director, International Climate and Energy, Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Andrew Johnstone, CEO, Climate Fund Managers
  • Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Climate Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Damien Navizet, Head of the Climate Division, Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
  • Karsten Sach, Deputy Director-General for European and international Policy in the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in Germany
  • Selina Wrighter, Senior Adviser, Green Climate Fund (GCF)


Aligning Energy Efficiency with the Paris Agreement

Saturday December 7, 11:30-12:30
Spanish Pavilion

CPI’s Associate Director, Bella Tonkonogy, joined the panel for this event coordinated by Climate Strategy & Partners and the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition (MITECO). The session took place on the Global Action Agenda and Energy and Mobility Day and addressed the role of energy efficiency investments in accelerating climate action and delivery of GHG emissions reductions to the Paris Agreement.


Aligning with the Paris Agreement: what does it mean for the International Development Finance Club?

Saturday December 7, 14:00-15:30
IDFC Pavilion

CPI’s Associate Director, Bella Tonkonogy, spoke at this side-event, organized by IDFC, in partnership with I4CE, CPI and ECF which aimed to present and discuss key outcomes of the research project linking it with emerging approaches and practices of IDFC members to implement the recommendations made and align with the Paris Agreement. Mandated by the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) and the European Climate Foundation (ECF), Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) and the Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) have conducted a research project in two parts, resulting in a Discussion Paper (Part 1) and a Final Report (Part 2) on “Aligning with the Paris Agreement”.


The Urban Opportunity: Transformative Climate Action in Practice

Saturday, December 7; 16:00-17:00
UK Pavilion, Hall 8

CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner participated in a panel discussion on “Transformative Climate Action in practice,” at the UK pavilion during COP25. The session was moderated by Vera Scholz, included:

  • Jorge Muñoz Wells, Mayor of Lima, Peru
  • Mario Silva, Director General, Instituto Metropolitano de Planeación del Área Metropolitana de Guadalajara (IMEPLAN), Mexico
  • Adriana Lobo, Executive Director, WRI Mexico
  • Ramón Rodríguez, Urban Energy Lead
  • Anna Wellenstein, Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, Sustainable Development Practice Group, World Bank
  • Kate Hughes, Director, International Climate and Energy, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Zero-carbon, resilient cities offer a powerful lever to secure shared economic prosperity and boost living standards while tackling the climate crisis. Drawing on new evidence from the Coalition for Urban Transitions’ Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity Report, and best practices from the C40 Cities Finance Facility and C40 Climate Action Planning Programme, this event will demonstrate why seizing the urban opportunity is critical to our future prosperity, and how cities are driving transformative climate action around the world.

The event started with a keynote address that explored the vital importance of urban climate action and the immense social and economic benefits of creating compact, connected and clean cities, highlighting what national governments, cities and other actors can gain from seizing the urban opportunity. This was followed by a panel discussion with perspectives from mayors and other actors who are leading transformative climate action in cities. The discussion illustrated how developing and implementing climate action plans and financing sustainable urban infrastructure can drive progress. It also explored the critical roles of different actors working together to overcome barriers to scaling climate action.


Climate Policy Action in the EU and the G20 

Saturday December 7, 17:30-19:00 
EU Pavilion

CPI’s Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Buchner, joined a panel organized by EUI Florence, World Bank and CPLC to discuss Jos Delbeke’s book announcement on EU Policy called ‘Towards a Climate-Neutral Europe. Curbing the Trend’. It reviewed EU climate policy over the last two decades, and summarized the state of climate legislation until April 2019. The panel shared relevant EU policy experiences for climate action in non-EU/US G20 countries.


World Climate Summit

Sunday, December 8; 13:30 – 14:30 
Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel & Conference Centre, Session Hall “Bristol”

CPI, on behalf of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, hosted a session at the World Climate Summit, “Climate Finance for Cities: Moving from project ideas to finance-ready low carbon infrastructure investments.” The session explored how to facilitate investment through targeted action, learning, cooperation, partnership and analysis that will, in turn, aid in the development of well-structured, bankable projects to empower cities that often struggle to access climate finance. Speakers for this session included:


  • Barbara Buchner, Executive Director of Climate Policy Initiative, Head of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance


  • Peter Damgaard Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, PKA
  • Alzbeta Klein, Director and Global Head, Climate Business, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director-General, Global Issues—Sector Policies and Programmes at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Christopher Hurst, Director General of the Projects Directorate, European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco

CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner also participated in a panel discussion, “Mobilizing Investments & Innovation in Low-Carbon Infrastructure.”

Launched in 2010, World Climate Summit is a forum for business- and investment-driven solutions to climate change. It acknowledges the essential importance of collaboration and the “bottom-up” perspective in solving climate change. The Summit is a key platform for driving policies, projects, and public-private partnerships.

For more information, visit the World Climate Summit.


Beyond Talk: EBRD Green Cities delivering policy and investments to scale up climate finance

Monday, December 9, 10:00 -11:30
MDB pavilion

CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner was a panelist in this session, in which the EBRD and GCF presented their experience of going beyond the talk to delivering climate finance on the ground.

The objective of the session was to share knowledge and provide practical insights into the link between strategic investment planning and climate finance, providing in depth examples of how business models are executed on the ground.


Stimulating investments to low-carbon and resilient sustainable cities through financial innovation

Co-organized by Climate Policy Initiative, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, Climate-KIC, and South Pole. 

Monday, December 9; 14:30 – 16:00
EU Pavilion

This COP side event provided participants with an understanding of the role that innovative finance models can play in supporting the low-carbon and resilient urban transition. It will draw on examples from the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance (the Lab) and the EIT Climate-KIC City Finance Lab.

Speakers included:

  • Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Climate Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Alzbeta Klein, Director for Climate Business, International Finance Corporation – Breathe Better Bond
  • Daniel Magallon, CEO at Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy, Cooling as a Service
  • Bella Tonkonogy, CPI Associate Director


The Role of National Development Banks in Scaling Up Sustainable Financial Instruments

Monday December 9, 15:00 to 17:00
Pavilion of the Americas

CPI’s Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Buchner, moderated a panel at the joint OECDIDB COP25 side event.

Building upon work from the OECD and the IDB, this event aimed to be forward thinking in highlighting priority actions for realising the full potential in NDBs for transformative climate action. It showcased existing examples of how NDBs have supported governments in delivering Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through the promotion of sustainable financial instruments that mobilize, shift and align resources with low-emissions, climate-resilient pathways.

Jorge Moreira da Silva (Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD) delivered introductory remarks, and Antonio Ketterer (Division Chief, Connectivity, Markets and Finance Division, IDB) will follow with a presentation.


GCF’s and GEF’s role in blended finance: How climate finance mechanisms are using development capital to mobilize addition private finance for NDC related investments

Monday, December 9, 18:30-19:30
GCF/GEF Pavilion

CPI’s Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Buchner, moderated this side event which demonstrated how innovative equity, grant, guarantee and lending instruments are being deployed by the GCF and the GEF to de-risk scalable projects to contribute towards achieving the commitments of the Paris Agreement across developing countries.

The panelists included:


Sustainable Innovation Forum: Accelerating Solutions for Climate Action

Tuesday December 10- Wednesday December 11
Novotel Madrid Campo de las Naciones; Green Zone 

CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner moderated a panel discussion, “Frameworks to Accelerate Capital Flows for a Sustainable Future” at the 10th Sustainable Innovation Forum 2019 convened alongside the UNFCCC’s COP 25 on December 10th, from 14:25 – 15:15.

CPI’s Federico Mazza also facilitated a roundtable on “Nature-based investment solutions” on December 11th from 15:50-16:50.

The Forum has a reputation as one of the largest business focused event at COP, facilitating direct engagement between private and public sector leaders. As an official affiliate event of COP 25, this years’ Forum will convene 600 high level delegates, including environment and energy ministers, city leaders, heads of UN agencies, CEO’s and heads of sustainability from global businesses and CEO’s and founders of clean tech start-ups.

The Forum’s agenda addressed the following topics: Sustainable Mobility, Energy Transition, the Circular Economy, Natural Capital, Climate Finance, Sustainable Cities, Heavy Transport, Emerging Climate-Tech, Climate-Smart Agriculture and the Oceans Economy.

For more information, visit the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2019.


Marrakech Parternship for Global Climate Action: SDG7 Roundtable

Tuesday, December 10, 16:30 to 18:00

CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner moderated the roundtable discussion taking place during COP25 that SEforALL is co-organizing with IRENA, with the support of the UNFCCC. The topic was on SDG7 and the linkages with climate. Organized by IRENA, SEforAll, and UNFCCC and supported by IEA and REN21.

Participants included:

  • Antonio Mexia, CEO of EDP (and Chair of SEforALL Administrative Board)
  • Dan Jørgensen, Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Denmark, co-lead of Energy Transition track
  • Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General, UN DESA
  • H.E Professor Fekadu Beyene, Commissioner, Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Commission of Ethiopia
  • Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment, Rwanda
  • Tulsi Tanti, Suzlon Group, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director
  • Claudio Seebach, Generator Association of Chile, Executive President
  • Ignacio Sanchez Gala , Iberdrola, Chief Executive Officer
  • Ms. Sharan Burrow, International Trade Union Confederation, General Secretary
  • Gilles Vermot Desroches, Vice President Sustainability, Schneider Electric
  • Marie Trogstam, Head of Sustainability, ÅF Pöyry
  • Francesco La Camera, Director General of IRENA
  • Fatih Birol, Director General of IEA


Climate Resilience and Adaptation Side Event

Tuesday December 10, 18:30- 20:30
Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel Bar Lounge, Mezzanine Level

CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner was a panelist at the Inter-American Development Bank’s event that focused on the current state of adaptation finance and recent developments around the world in private sector investment in climate resilience and adaptation. The session featured experts in climate finance from different regions and institutions, and it explored the role of public and private institutions in accelerating adaptation finance.

Moderator: Amal-Lee Amin, IDB

Speakers included:

  • Barbara Buchner, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Jay Koh, Lightsmith Group/GARI
  • Gianleo Frisari, IDB
  • Carlos Sanchez, Willis Towers Watson
  • Martin Berg, European Investment Bank
  • Barbara Schnell, KfW
  • Serena Shi, Lightsmith Group


Sharing Solutions for Energy Transitions: a view from both sides of the Atlantic

Wednesday December 11, 9:15 – 10:15
Paseo de la Castellana, nº 257 1st Floor

CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner  participated on the panel titled, “Round Table 1: Key points for the energy transition from finance and economic perspectives”, alongside José Manuel Marqués, Head of Financial Innovation Division, Bank of Spain. Moderator for this panel was Jorge Sanz Oliva, Ex President of the Experts Commission for Energy Transition.


Raising Ambition. Empowering Action. GCF-1

Wednesday Dec 11, 2019

Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires a tectonic shift beyond ‘climate finance as usual’ to increase the flow of investment many times over, and rapidly, to achieve globally agreed climate goals and initiate a truly systemic transition across global, regional, and national economies. CPI’s Dr. Barbara Buchner participated on the panel at this GCF event.


Climate Alignment in the Financial Sector

Co-organized by Climate Policy Initiative, Rocky Mountain Institute, and UNEP FI. 

Wednesday, December 11; 16:45 – 18:15

In this official COP side event, CPI, Rocky Mountain Institute, and UNEP FI were joined by senior representatives of the public and private financial sector for a briefing and panel discussion on climate alignment, a quickly developing norm at the nexus of climate change and finance. This event provided participants with a deeper understanding of what climate alignment is and how leading public and private financial institutions are working towards becoming aligned.

Watch a recording of the event here.

Speakers include:

  • Paul Bodnar, Managing Director, Global Climate Finance, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Sarah Breeden, Executive Director, UK Deposit Takers Supervision, Bank of England
  • Barbara Buchner, Executive Director of Climate Finance, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Remco Fischer, Programme Officer, Climate Change, UNEP FI
  • Boitumelo Mosako, Chief Financial Officer, DBSA
  • Franco Piza, Head of Sustainability, Grupo Bancolombia
  • Hubert Ruzibiza, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Green Fund-Mobilizing Resources for the Green Economy
  • Sylvain Vanston, Group Head of Climate & Environment, AXA


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